I’d booked tickets to two Inside Out Film Festival films this week but as Dan has flown home to Perth I had to find somebody to take his tickets. Tonight’s film, Don’t Accept Dreams from Strangers, was an Italian film so I had invited Andrea, a friendly Italian I met on the flight from Vienna to Toronto, who was in town this week on business and staying in a hotel down the road from our building. It was warm so I wore shorts, for the first time in months. Also unusual was that Canteen, the food place downstairs at TIFF which is usually packed and unable to seat us for food, had spare tables, so we ate burgers there before the film. We got to the theatre exactly on time at 19:30 to find it packed, with room only in the first few rows.
The film was similar in style to every other Italian film I’ve seen: slow scenes with odd camera angles, extreme close ups and a somnolent narrative that left me bewildered and unsure how I felt about it at the end. Like many gay films there were nice to look at bits of flesh that made absolutely no sense at all (who dives into water in a wetsuit to then stand at the shore, half strips off the wet suit to stand staring out at the ocean?).
I ranked the film on par with Sophia Likes to
Run Bore Everybody To Death (last year’s festival headliner that we really could not engage with but apparently the rest of the planet adored) or Strangers By the Lake, (another film that reviewers raved about but did not resonate with us) – not really my thing. Normally Dan and I would race out as the credits rolled, before the excruciating post-festival-film-question-and-answer session with the director, where inevitably the festival representative pulls out a wad of note paper and makes several oblique statements rather than actual questions in a futile attempt at appearing insightful but coming across as sycophantic. I politely stayed tonight to my regret. The director looking confused, wondering if it was his English proficiency that made it impossible to find something to say in response.
It was warm so I walked with Andrea back to his hotel, pointing out the CN tower, City Hall, Eaton Centre before we battled crowds on Yonge St, which is blocked off for some filming or something.